(We take a quick time out from today’s post to mention you should check out Lisa Clark’s blog. Why? Well, Lisa is gonna guest blog over here soon. She gave a sneak peek today, plus some pretty cool Western jewelry http://lisasurbannostalgia.blogspot.com/2010/09/im-going-to-be-guest-blogger.html Now back to today’s post.)
Welcome to Query Letter – Part Two. For those of you who have been following me since the beginning you will remember The Query Letter, posted all the way back in July. It was a disaster as you can see for yourself. That was ten days after starting this journey. A dozen books, a couple websites, and a few blogs later I have determined I need help.
For those of you who have not been around that long, let me explain what a query letter is. A query letter is my way of asking an agent if they would kindly let me submit a partial manuscript. From what I have read since starting this journey, an agent who likes my book (after getting the query in the door) will use the query letter to get editors to read the manuscript. Once an agent and an editor are onboard with the project, parts of the query letter will be turned in to the book jacket.
Let’s go over a few things about query letters before I get to the help.
1) Brief is good: Query Letters should be less than 250 words.
2) Hook: Query Letters should make you want to read the book.
3) Audience: You have to know who will buy your book.
4) Genre: You have to know where your book fits in the publishing industry.
5) Experience: Yep, your resume needs to fit in those 250 words.
Here’s the thing I need. I need your help. I have written another query letter for a novel in the Zeidrich Chronicles. What I need from y’all is simple. Imagine yourself standing in the aisle of your favorite bookstore. Read the query letter below as though it was the back of a book you were thinking of buying. Vote in the poll and leave any other comments you can think of. I’ll leave the poll up until next Friday, since everyone is going off to their Labor Day activities.
Thanks a million, y’all!
Dear (Agent’s Name),
Sixteen, ubbersmart, college graduate, foster kid aging out of the system, newest undercover ATF Agent. Those words all describe Alexandria Houston. Her first assignment? Infiltrate a well-known neo-Nazi militia as the mistress of the leader. Unfortunately, that would be Hans Zeidrich, the grandfather she loved as a child. It means returning to the home where Alexandria’s mother was murdered in front of Alexandria. Alexandria has not been home since that day, when Alexandria was kidnapped by the men who murdered her mother.
Sixteen should be a time of worrying about prom dresses and boys, not blown covers and death. It shouldn’t be a time to ponder torn allegiances; her family or the government. She’s deep undercover with no support. Alexandria has to grapple with her past, future and present alone. Can she survive and find the love and home she dreams of? Or did she give up any chance of coming back to her family when she agreed to the assignment?
Sweet Sixteen is a completed 85,288 word family saga.